Loving Two “Babies” Equally?

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Here we are almost at another summer holidays already and another year zooming by! There’s been lots going on here even though you may have noticed fewer posts from me on Facebook of late. Read on and I will explain all!

As many of you know already, I now split my time wearing the two hats, so to speak. Romsey Fotografix being one, and my Zazzle Store – Fotografixgal Designs, t’other.

Now please don’t get me wrong. Just because I have found a new love in my Zazzle store, doesn’t mean I’m no longer “in love” with my photography and Romsey Fotografix. Nah, not at all, that’s still my baby. As we all know, when the second “baby” comes along, you love it just as much don’t you, if you’ll forgive the analogy!  I guess what I’m saying is, it’s possible to love two babies equally.

Of course, finding time to devote to each and give them both my all has meant a little compromising – but not at the expense of letting go of good customer service I hasten to add. So yes, I have cut back on my photoshoots, which means that I can still devote the time necessary for each photo session and the subsequent edit and correspondence, and thus maintain the standard of customer service you are used to from me and, of course, deserve.

My time is split about 50/50, with a little leeway naturally where needs be. Hence, I only do studio photoshoots now on Sunday mornings and outdoor location shoots on Saturday mornings. I edit the images from these as soon as possible afterwards so I can get your galleries out quickly without keeping anyone waiting.

Once I know everyone has their pictures to look at, I devote the rest of the week to designing for my Zazzle store. This really has become such a passion for me, I can’t tell you just how much I enjoy it! Haha my friends and family know exactly how much as I do go on about it a lot!!!

(Goes without saying that I deal with enquiries and orders for Romsey Fotografix regardless of when I get them!)

A little about Zazzle if you’ve not heard of them before. They’re a huge print on demand website and they do all manner of goodies – as you can see from their website. And here’s their story. As a designer, artist or photographer, or indeed anyone who wishes to, you easily set up a Zazzle store, or several stores if you want to. I just have the one store for now Fotografixgal Designs, as that keeps me plenty busy enough!  I also set up a separate website especially for it to help showcase the items in my store.  

There’s quite a complex strategy involved in running a Zazzle store, it’s not just a question of designing and plonking it onto any old products if you want to progress and do well on there. When I first started on there about a year ago, I had no idea at all about best practices for it and it was frustrating not to be making many sales at the time. I took the step of investing in some fantastic training from Elke Clarke one of Zazzle’s top sellers. She was running an offer at the time and I can honestly say it was the best money I ever spent and am so pleased I decided to go for it. I would never have discovered it all on my own. It’s been onwards and upwards since putting into practice everything I learnt (and am still learning). And the training from Elke doesn’t just stop when you finish the course, so you’re not left high and dry. She has a private Facebook group and does regular live sessions so we can ask her anything we need to know. She also assesses our stores if we ask her to and tells us how we can improve and what we’re doing right and wrong which has been invaluable.

A year in, and I’m delighted to say my sales are really starting to take off which has been very encouraging. Ironically, my most popular items are wedding stationery, photo gifts and photo blocks – so the “sisters” Romsey Fotografix and Fotografixgal Designs do cross paths in some ways!  Oh and not forgetting inspirational/motivational quote products, I have loads in store, which I decided to do not only because I love this sort of thing myself, but I reckoned they would be popular as you see them in shops all over the place nowadays don’t you. And indeed they have become bestsellers for me – I’m always racking my brains so I can add new ones.

OK, heading back to the subject of Facebook posting. As I do fewer shoots now, I have less photos from current sessions to post on Facebook and am therefore not posting every day or two, as I did at one time. And I don’t want to bombard you with too many Fotografixgal Design related posts as I guess you didn’t follow me on Facebook to see those 😉!!  Maybe just the odd one or two if you don’t mind lol. In the main though I use my Instagram and Pinterest accounts to promote my Zazzle store. To be honest, Social Media takes such a lot of time to get it right. There’s quite a strategy involved if you want to keep your loyal following entertained. And unless you pay for your posts to be promoted, they invariably only get shown to a small handful of your followers so it can be very soul destroying taking into consideration the amount of time and effort put into creating them. I’m not knocking it, because it’s obviously very useful and brilliant for connecting with your audience. As long as you stay in control of it and not let it take over at the expense of other things.

So please forgive me if I don’t post as often. However, I’m always very grateful when you give me permission to post pictures from your session as this allows me to showcase my work for others to see and also give you a little sneak peek and to share with your FB friends.

Another decision I have not taken lightly is to introduce a small booking fee for my studio photoshoots from August 2019. This won’t apply to outdoor shoots. I’ll only be taking one or two studio shoots a week on a Sunday and will request and pay for the studio as and when someone contacts me to book. This session fee is to safeguard me against late cancellations and no shows and cover my costs. I know I have never charged a session fee before as I didn’t feel it necessary when I had my own studio and was doing loads of shoots in a week, therefore I wasn’t out of pocket in the event of no shows. However, now if someone doesn’t show up on the day, which does happen sometimes, I won’t be able to fill that slot at that short notice and may even have turned other clients away for it, it’s just to ensure I’m not out of pocket. The good news is I’ll refund you the booking fee when your order comes to £150 or more.

You may also have seen that we have now photographed our last wedding as the official photographers.  I was going to tell you all about that in this post however as it’s already quite lengthy (haha sorry that’s not like me at all 😉 ), I’ll do a separate post shortly about the reasons behind our Wedding Swansong.

I truly hope you understand my decision to veer in a slightly new direction wearing my two different, yet complementary, hats. I am a firm believer in doing what you love most in life, after all you only get one shot at it (excuse the photography related pun!!) Grab those opportunities as they arise!

You gotta be content and fulfilled in your work. I have found my very Happy Place.

As ever, thank you so much for your support. It means the world to both Lee and I and we look forward to taking your next set of pictures!

The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day 

anonymous quote (but oh so true!)

5 Undeniable Reasons to Love A Cup Of Positivity

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Picture courtesy of toa-heftiba unsplash

I have a sign by the bed which is probably the first thing I see when I wake up.

It simply says

TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO SMILE

Nothing fancy, just those few words. But powerful none the less. A little bit of positivity for the start of my day.

Right. I put it out there – I’m a huge fan of inspirational quotes and messages. My Instagram feed is full of them and all sorts of goodies with different kinds of quotes on, from inspiring to funny, feature a lot in my Zazzle Store!

Methinks I’m not alone in this, judging by the number you see on social media, and on loads of items in shops wherever you go – from pillows to mugs, on clothing, fridge magnets, cards, notebooks, cosmetic bags, crockery, etc. etc. and of course posters and signs and wall art.

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Very popular. There’s something about emotive quotes that really draws you in, especially on any with words you personally resonate with.

How great for giving too! What better way to show you care than by sending someone a gift or card with a message of encouragement or positive vibes. Nothing like being told how great we are to make our day!

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So here’s what I reckon are the 5 undeniable reasons to Love a Cup of Positivity …

  • Brings The Feel Good Factor

When you feel good about yourself, it makes it simpler to feel positive about other things in life generally. Encouraging messages help you to believe in yourself more and therefor feel good about yourself.

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  • Creates a Positive Vibe

When you have a positive attitude – it’s catching! People around you respond to it, which in turn makes for a happier atmosphere around you which makes everything much more bearable to deal with.

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  • Helps to get us through Life’s Challenges

No one ever said it would be easy – nope! Life throws all sorts of stuff at us, both good and bad, sometimes it’s hard, even virtually impossible to stay positive through it all. It actually takes practice to keep positive and upbeat but truly worth it.

Absolutely

Obviously you can’t be happy about every situation but simply trying to find a positive from a negative situation, and possibly learn from it, will certainly help to make you feel better.

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  • Reminds us to feel grateful for what we have
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“The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.” Michael Josephson

When I read  The Secret by Rhonda Byrne a couple of years ago, I got a lot from it. It was actually quite a turning point for me. I was inspired to set up a Law of Attraction Board on Pinterest.

One of the most important things I learned was to remind myself of all the things I have to feel grateful about every day.

Being grateful has a very profound and positive effect on the way we feel; it makes us more optimistic and kind, less judgemental, so just generally makes for a happier and kinder person to be around, which again, is contagious!

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  • Just Because

I guess they’re not for everyone, but there’s no denying inspirational quotes are hugely popular right now.  They can be amusing, emotional, encouraging; they virtually give us “permission” to be who or what we want to be so we can go ahead and just do it!

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As I see it, there can be no harm in spreading joy and comfort with kind, inspiring and motivational messages, whether it be on your social media sites, on presents you give, or just getting it out there on a T shirt!

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And if you fancy more of the same, I expect it won’t surprise you to know I’m always  Pinning inspiring words – Pinterest has millions!

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“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine”  Roy T. Bennett